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Comment Mix of #3 and #4 (Score 1) 637

Make the votes automatic, with two per state going automatically to the winner of the state and the rest being divided according to the overall popular vote in that state.

Also, allow fractional EC votes under this system to 0.01-vote precision, just to reduce the whining that someone won solely because of a biased choice of rounding algorithm.

Comment Solution to the "vacuum energy" problem (Score 1) 231

The expansion of the universe is fueled by a continuous transition to lower-energy vacuum states. Unlike the normal "false vacuum" model, though, there are a lot of these lower-energy states, which become closer and closer together until they reach a limiting value.

The graph of these states would probably look familiar - it's similar to the electron transitions for the hydrogen atom, only with the orbitals replaced with "time since the Big Bang". The net result matches the lower value of the vacuum energy... and there's the possibility that this also explains inflation as being equivalent to the transition between n=1 and n=2 (whereas we're currently at something on the order of n=10^35).

Granted, there's no guarantee that I'm right (and in fact I'm probably not, since I have no formal training in cosmology), but it looks like a model that fits the current knowledge.

Comment Re:Had this issue (Score 1) 388

With respect to point 3, they shouldn't be allowing that. (And, in fact, a quick test on attempting to create accounts that are distinct solely by addition/removal of periods shows that they don't. It even mentions in the message rejecting the address that they do this.)

As far as sloppy typing, well, the only real solution to this is moving to a email address. The odds that someone has a similar name to you and picks a random string that's somehow relevant to them and has similar relevance to you such that you would pick it as well, are quite a bit lower than simply relying on the vagaries of what your parents thought it would be cute to call you.

Comment Re: multi-options (Score 1) 458

No, it says that the cardinality of the sets of trials that meet those outcomes is the same. There's a difference between the two, which basically only comes up in probability at infinity.

It's the same difference as the one that states that the probability of choosing any real number at random is 0, even though obviously if you're choosing a real number at random one of them must come up.

Comment Re:Had this issue (Score 2) 388

For what it's worth, GMail treats all e-mail addresses that are identical other than dots as the same e-mail address internally, so,,, and are all going to be the same account.

I've noticed that forum spammers like to use that trick to get around "each account must have a unique e-mail" settings on certain types of forum software.

Comment Re:Useless academic is useless. (Score 4, Insightful) 462

Good point (and one that basically points out that Mr. Whittington is the one attempting to shut off debate, in this case by basically implying Milligan is a fucking loony).

That said, the author of the paper is still just wanking at best. :-) To point at one particular issue with his conclusion: the argument from "eco-minded critics" he claims sympathy with that we have more energy than we can handle without causing damage is an argument brought from ignorance at best and from willful intent to send humanity back to the Dark Ages at worst.

Basically, the issue is not that we need to necessarily reduce our energy usage, but that we need to improve our methods of handling energy production - which is something the critics he's referring to would find a ghastly prospect, having entrenched interests in making negative predictions about humanity.

And, of course, the implication in his conclusion that because there are risks, an action is not worth taking... well, I find that attitude ethically problematic as without risks, you stunt the potential of humanity.

Comment Re:Well of course (Score 1) 462

"Too cheap to meter" only makes sense with government-owned utilities, and then only if startup and maintenance costs (including fuel under maintenance) are both negligible.

That said, I suspect geothermal power is actually better-suited to being "too cheap to meter", but getting the necessary power output requires significant advances in mining-related technologies anyway (ideally your heat-uptake loop has as large of a heat differential as possible, meaning drilling a borehole near or even into the mantle if possible).

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